Blunkett calls for school ‘kite mark’

David Blunkett
David Blunkett
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Sheffield MP and former Education Secretary David Blunkett has called for an official standard to rate new school providers.

Brightside and Hillsborough MP Mr Blunkett spoke in the wake of concern about the Al-Madinah School in Derby.

No free schools have been created in South Yorkshire so far but several academies are run by private organisations.

Giving the Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture to the Socialist Educational Association in the Houses of Parliament, Mr Blunkett said: “I am therefore of the opinion that kite marking those organisations involved in this aspect of the education landscape would make sense. Light-touch, but also shedding a light on what is and is not acceptable.

“This is not about introducing the dead hand of local bureaucracy. This is all about transparency.

“It’s about giving parents the reassurance that their child’s school will be required to continue to improve, to keep standards high, and will ensure the wellbeing of their children.”

Mr Blunkett also called for efforts to ensure classes are given by qualified teachers.

He said: “We need classrooms overseen by first class, qualified teachers and an entitlement to what, over recent years, we’ve assumed was a common goal - namely to be taught by those who not only know their subject but know how to teach - and heads with leadership skills and an understanding of how children learn.”